Posted on Tuesday December 8th, 2020 at 1:20 PM by Amy Howe
In a final attempt to forestall the 2020 presidential election outcome, Texas tried Tuesday to file a lawsuit directly with the Supreme Court to delay the electoral college vote and prevent four states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. the casting of their votes by the electoral college for President-elect Joe Biden, who won popular votes in every state. This highly unusual use of the court’s original jurisdiction, most commonly used to resolve interstate disputes related to, for example, water rights, came just six days before each state’s voters were legally required to vote and cast their ballots in the electoral college.
The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s filing accuses government officials in the four states of using the COVID-19 pandemic to make changes to their states’ electoral laws through “Executive Fiat” or “Friendly Judges”, thereby weakening electoral integrity becomes. State officials, Paxton writes, “flooded” their states with postal ballot papers and “weakened the strongest security measures to protect the integrity of the verification of the signature and witness requirements.” As a result, Paxton said, the 2020 elections suffered “from significant and unconstitutional irregularities in these four states” – for example, by treating voters in democratic areas more favorably than in other areas. Taken together, Paxton said, these shortcomings make it impossible to know who “legitimately won the 2020 election and threatens to tarnish all future elections”.
There is usually no specific timetable for the court to act in such cases, but Paxton states that the state will seek expedited consideration of his application. He also urged the judges to resolve the dispute without further notification, telling them that the issues raised in the case – which concern the outcome of the 2020 presidential election – “are neither factual nor complex”.
Texas is usually represented in the US Supreme Court by its Attorney General Kyle Hawkins, who last month argued in court over the challenge to the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Hawkins’ name does not appear on the file, however.
Officials in the attacked states described the Texas filing as an outlandish stunt with no legal basis. “These continued attacks on our fair and free electoral system are more than baseless, more than ruthless,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) wrote on Twitter.
“I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a truly embarrassing lawsuit,” wrote Josh Kaul, D, Wisconsin attorney general. “Texas will question the outcome of the Ice Bowl as well as overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election.”
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R), who was recently appointed as the new chairman of the Republican Attorney General, also wiped the case off. “With all due respect, the Texas Attorney General is constitutionally, legally, and factually wrong about Georgia,” a spokesman for Carr said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Judges also heard Tuesday from Pennsylvania about another long-term lawsuit seeking to dismiss that state’s election results. The state filed its response to a request by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) To prevent the state from confirming the results of the November 3 election. Kelly criticized the state’s expansion of the mail-in voting as unconstitutional, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Kelly had waited too long to go to court.
In its filing on Tuesday, Pennsylvania urged judges to stay out of the dispute, telling them that Kelly was seeking “one of the most dramatic and disruptive incantations of justice in republic history.” Kelly’s allegations were “fundamentally frivolous,” claimed Pennsylvania, were not subsequently brought up or decided, and would require the court to “constitutionalize vast swaths of state procedural law without a credible basis” in order to do so.
This post was originally published on Howe on the Court.
Amy Howe, Texas, hail Mary tries to block the election result.
SCOTUSblog (December 8, 2020, 1:20 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/12/texas-tries-hail-mary-to-block-election-outcome/